As we head into the sixth week of NFL action, the excitement level is at a fever pitch. The contenders are becoming clearer and some new leaders are emerging. The Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons have both managed to stay undefeated thus far, despite a close call or two along the way. The Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings have turned it all around and teams like my Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints have struggled mightily.
As for my own picks, things are settling in nicely. After a tough week four, everything got back to normal during week five. I managed to go 10-4 and pick an upset or two along the way. Let's see what I can do with a tough week six schedule:
THU, OCT 11
Pittsburgh at Tennessee--LP Field
On the surface this game looks like a no-brainer. Then you start to dig a little bit and...yes, it is a no-brainer.
2012 Week Six Winner -- Pittsburgh Steelers
SUN, OCT 14
Oakland at Atlanta--Georgia Dome
Will the Raiders be able to tame the beast in Atlanta? They have the talent to do so, but Atlanta is way too good at home to let that happen. Matt Ryan has been absolutely flawless throughout the season and he is working his way towards an MVP type of season. Expect that continue in week six.
2012 Week Six Winner -- Atlanta Falcons
Cincinnati at Cleveland--Cleveland Browns Stadium
The Browns are improving even though you could not tell it by their record. The started out super hot against the Giants only to get steamrolled as the game went along. This is the type of game where everything could come together and they upset someone. Cincinnati, however, is a tough team to do that against. They have a great young quarterback in Andy Dalton and a defense that can be nasty when they want to be. This game is a potential upset, but I am not quite feeling it.
2012 Week Six Winner -- Cincinnati Bengals
St. Louis at Miami--Sun Life Stadium
The Rams looked fantastic during a Thursday night upset of the previously unbeaten Arizona Cardinals. Some may feel that was a fluke but not me. No defense dominates like that without having some serious talent. Chris Long and Robert Quinn put a ton of pressure on the quarterback and that will be a big difference in this game. I love where the Dolphins are headed, but I like the Rams even more.
2012 Week Six Winner -- St. Louis Rams
Indianapolis at NY Jets--MetLife Stadium
The Colts are trying their best to prove that they are for real and I am starting to believe them. When you have the type of quarterback that can do what Andrew Luck did against a powerful Green Bay Packers squad, you have a chance against anyone. There is no reason why the Colts can't come in and beat the Jets this week and I am making it my upset of the week.
2012 Week Six Winner -- Indianapolis Colts
Detroit at Philadelphia--Lincoln Financial Field
The Lions should be rested, but the Eagles are going to be in a particularly bad mood after a terrible loss to the Steelers. I have seen some horrible games by the Eagles over the years, but that one was the ugliest. Expect them to rebound at home in a big way.
2012 Week Six Winner -- Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas at Baltimore--M&T Bank Stadium
Baltimore had their defense show up in a big way during week five, while the Cowboys did their best to give the ball away every time they had it. That is not a recipe for success for those Cowboys.
2012 Week Six Winner -- Baltimore Ravens
Kansas City at Tampa Bay--Raymond James Stadium
This is a tough one to pick but I think that Tampa will win an emotional one at home. They are rested and their fans are not likely to boo if Josh Freeman gets hurt. I give them a slight edge.
2012 Week Six Winner -- Tampa Bay Bucs
Buffalo at Arizona--U of Phoenix Stadium
Can Arizona rebound after losing their first game during week five? I think they will. Buffalo can't stop anyone and Fitzgerald should have a field day. The Arizona defense is much better and they are at home to boot.
2012 Week Six Winner -- Arizona Cardinals
New England at Seattle--CenturyLink Field
The Patriots clearly are back in the swing of things but playing in Seattle is no joke. I expect this to be much closer than folks might expect. Although it will be close, it will still be a Patriots victory.
2012 Week Six Winner -- New England Patriots
NY Giants at San Francisco--Candlestick Park
This should be one of the better games all season and it could very well end up being a preview of things to come in the playoffs. New York and San Francisco both should end up there at the end of the season so this could be a key tie breaker type of match up. I think that San Francisco will win primarily because of a stingier defense and an explosive running game. All due respect to Ahmad Bradshaw and his 200 yards in week five, but I don't think that will happen in week six.
2012 Week Six Winner -- San Francisco 49ers
Minnesota at Washington--FedEx Field
This is one of those games where Minnesota can really make strides towards proving they are for real. I know they are, but many are still not so sure. I expect this to be a statement game on the road against a tough Redskins group.
2012 Week Six Winner -- Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay at Houston--Reliant Stadium
Green Bay is certainly in a tough position going into Reliant Stadium. You never want to go in and face the Texans with a must win type of scenario. While the Packers may not be that far along in their desperation, they are not where they would like to be at this point in the season. A loss against the Texans could be devastating. I think the Packers will give the Texans their first loss for that very reason.
2012 Week Six Winner -- Green Bay Packers
MON, OCT 15
Denver at San Diego--Qualcomm Stadium
San Diego and Denver both are in need of a victory so this game should be a classic. I do think that Manning will be the difference in this game. The Saints showed that the Chargers are susceptible against the pass and they had a ton of trouble at key moments in that game.
2012 Week Six Winner -- Denver Broncos
Week Five NFL Picks Record - 10-4
Season NFL Picks Record to Date - 45-32
Source--Yahoo Sports Stats Page
*Southern is a huge Carolina Panthers fan that is convinced that he will see a Super Bowl Trophy in Charlotte within five years.
More from this contributor:
- Why the First Five Games Are Vital to the Carolina Panthers in 2012: Fan's Opinion
- Carolina Panthers Vs. New Orleans Saints 2012 NFL Week Two: A Fan's Prediction
- 2012 NFC South Week Three NFL Picks and Predictions: Fan's Opinion
- Carolina Panthers Vs. New York Giants 2012 NFL Week Three: A Fan's Prediction
- 2012 NFC South Week Two NFL Picks and Predictions: Fan's Opinion